TROY — Troy is doing a run-a-thon to help raise a portion of the $400,000 needed to replace the old Cinder track.
Efforts to raise money to resurface the track were started three years ago by a community member who was born and raised in Troy and ran on the track that is still there today, almost 20 years later. The track has been repaired a few times throughout the years and is now basically gravel.
“So for me, it was really something I felt like I could help improve for my kids and the community. And just honestly I was at a baseball game in Eureka and the kids were playing on the track and it was a rubberized track and it was just like sparked my, my interest. I'm like, why don't we have one and it really comes down to money,” said Shana Bernall, Troy community member.
Burnall has been working alongside the school and other community members to raise funds through grants and fundraisers. Most of the $87,000 they have raised so far has been in the last year due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“We've been really hitting this hard this last year. And what's neat is that we get so much support not just from the community, but around the community. We get people from Libby, who you know, they donate to the raffles or whatever fundraiser we're doing. And they're like, yeah, we've seen your track, and we want to help you. Like, like, it's not just us, Eureka, Libby all over Lincoln County, they want to help out too. They see the situation we have, and they you know, just like us, they would like to see it better,” said Eric Storkson, track committee volunteer.
The current cinder track is used by elementary students all the way through high school, but it is not adequate to hold high school track meets on, nor even practices. Surrounding schools haven’t been interested in attending track meets in Troy because they are concerned for the safety of their runners.
“It’s going to let our runners participate at a higher level. You know, they can practice on a surface that's meant for running on and also it's going to increase the pride that we have in our school and our track,” said Storkson.
A run-a-thon was held last year during COVID-19, and the kids had to run their laps during PE. No community members were allowed to participate or spectate, but they still raised around $10,000. Second grader, Keeler Valentine, ran ten laps this year to help her prepare for soccer season.
“I like when people cheer for you. And I like exercise, I'm hot too” said Troy Elementary School second grade student Keeler Valentine.
The goal for this year's run-a-thon is to increase the overall amount of funds to be able to get bigger match grants for the project. This year, 39 kids participated compared to only about ten last year.
“I think for one it gets them out on the track and makes them realize you know why we're putting in this effort, to hopefully give them a new track,” said Bernall.
Troy and one other school in Lincoln County are the last to not have a legitimate track. Donations can be made by contacting Troy Public Schools.
“I think this means a whole lot to the community. This is a great thing,” said Storkson.
Here's another way people are trying to raise money for a new track: